Plutarch’s Moralia

(408)τόπον· εἶθ᾿ ἧκε δεύτερον ποτνιώμενος. ὑπειπὼν οὖν ὁ θεός,

αἰ τὺ ἐμεῦ Λιβύαν1 μαλοτρόφον οἶσθας ἄρειον,2 μὴ ἐλθὼν ἐλθόντος, ἄγαν ἄγαμαι σοφίην σεῦ·

οὕτω πάλιν αὐτὸν ἐξέπεμψε.

“Λύσανδρος δὲ καὶ παντάπασιν ἀγνοήσας τὸν Ὀρχαλίδην3 λόφον καὶ Ἀλώπεκον4 προσαγορευόμενον καὶ τὸν Ὁπλίτην ποταμὸν

γῆς τε δράκονθ᾿5 υἱὸν δόλιον κατόπισθεν ἰόντα,

Bμάχῃ κρατηθεὶς ἔπεσεν ἐν τοῖς τόποις ἐκείνοις ἐν τοῖς τόποις ἐκείνοις ὑπὸ Νεοχώρου Ἁλιαρτίου6ἀνδρὸς ἀσπίδα φοροῦντος ἐπίσημον ὄφιν ἔχουσαν. ἄλλα δὲ τοιαῦτα πολλὰ δυσκάθεκτα καὶ δυσμνημόνευτα τῶν παλαιῶν διεξιέναι πρὸς ὑμᾶς εἰδότας οὐκ ἀναγκαῖόν ἐστιν.

28. “Τὰ δὲ νῦν πράγματα, καθεστῶτα, περὶ ὧν ἐρωτῶσι τὸν θεόν, ἀγαπῶ μὲν ἔγωγε καὶ ἀσπάζομαι· πολλὴ γὰρ εἰρήνη καὶ ἡσυχία, πέπαυται δὲ πόλεμος, καὶ πλάναι καὶ στάσεις οὐκ εἰσὶν οὐδὲ Cτυραννίδες οὐδ᾿ ἄλλα νοσήματα καὶ κακὰ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ὥσπερ πολυφαρμάκων δυνάμεων χρῄζοντα καὶ περιττῶν. ὅπου δὲ ποικίλον οὐδὲν οὐδ᾿ ἀπόρρητον οὐδὲ δεινόν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐπὶ πράγμασι μικροῖς καὶ δημοτικοῖς ἐρωτήσεις οἷον ἐν σχολῇ προτάσεις, ‘εἰ γαμητέον,’ ‘εἰ πλευστέον,’ ‘εἰ δανειστέον,’ τὰ


The Oracles at Delphi

in sore distress. And the god made answer to hima:

If without going you know far better than I, who have gone there,

Africa, mother of flocks, then I greatly admire your wisdom, and with these words sent him forth again.

“Ly sander also failed to recognize the hill Orchalides (the other name of which is Alopecus) and the river Hoplitesb and

Also the serpent, the Earth-born, behind him stealthily creeping,

and was vanquished in battle, and fell in that very place by the hand of Neochorus, a man of Haliartus, who carried a shield which had as its emblem a snake. Numerous other instances of this sort among the people of olden time, difficult to retain and remember, it is not necessary to rehearse to you who know them.

28. “For my part, I am well content with the settled conditions prevailing at present, and I find them very welcome, and the questions which men now put to the god are concerned with these conditions. There is, in fact, profound peace and tranquillity; war has ceased, there are no wanderings of peoples, no civil strifes, no despotisms, nor other maladies and ills in Greece requiring many unusual remedial forces. Where there is nothing complicated or secret or terrible, but the interrogations are on slight and commonplace matters, like the hypothetical questions in school: if one ought to marry, or to start on a voyage, or to make a loan; and the most important

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plutarch-moralia_oracles_delphi_no_longer_given_verse.1936